Wednesday, July 30, 2008

sweet success.....!



here's the rug made by a student from a picture i took of a tile floor at this movie producer's house in Austin. I always liked the colors of the tile floor and now I have a rug of it! ahh yeah....

Monday, July 28, 2008

little beard is back...


I'm just sitting around here tonight, I shaved before dinner and now am chilling before crashing.....

this is a rug I bought last week, and one of my favorites so far, it wasn't expensive and I had my eye on it for a while because it was different than all the colored ones, the guy kept telling me it was "older" and they don't make them anymore... etc etc, which you can only half believe such stuff because they are trying to keep the price up. anyway, it's a Kuchi rug made from wool, and the color of the rug will never change because it's non-dyed and is actually from the color of the wool, also he said this wool is from afghanistan, most wool nowadays apparently comes in from pakistan for rugs.

say a prayer, if you think of it, for a former student of mine, "Taher", who I spoke with yesterday and the conversation pretty much broke my heart as I went back into my room after break. Taher is the kindest respectful older pilot man with black hair and beard and long face. anyway he was telling me how he didn't get much sleep the night before because his daughter was crying all night so he went in to sleep in her room to help calm her. Then the story went on that she was sick because of the water on the brain she was born with, she now has a tube to her stomach, she was 70% brain damaged as a baby, she's now a year and 8 months, and now sometime its too much for his wife to live with because of all the attention she needs and sometimes his wife yells asking when are you going to die. they have 3 other children, the average is 6 here ya know. well that was sad, I ended the conversation asking about the other kids and how were thye doing, and he said they are learning English etc.


I really have to keep reminding myself how poor the country is and how misterable their life is, it's easy to forget since we all jsut show up at school together and then go separate ways. And of course I know i can always just leave back to good ole USA. I hadn't thought of water on the brain in babies in a long time. like ten years ago when I was in Honduras and visiting the hospital there sometimes on saturday mornings. IT is caused , i think, by not enough folic acid in the mother's diet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

new rug

this is front and back, it's made to also be used as a big pillow.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

guess where I'm from....


here's me, and just look at the shirt. OKC!

I took this pic after the gym today before breakfast. I wanted to get a picture with my wonderful neice and nephew's drawings on the wall that my sis sent me with a birthday card. I just love them. really brighten my day every morning seeing all those bright colors up there on the wall. and since I never had any children, it's nice to see some kid pics up on the wall like other guys have here. ha.

I'm about to crash. long day, and plan time tomorrow morning before starting my "weekend" here of thurs/fri off work. Here are some things i said in class today "if your phone rings, and you answer it and go outside for the call, I am LOCKING the door and you are not coming back inside until next break!".. (we have breaks every hour)

and then I also said something like, "yes those of you graduating after this book can come back and study with us and OBSERVE, that means no questions!" and I laughed and they laughted because 3 of the 4 guys who have reached the 80% mark already are also the 3 that constantly ask me tons of questions, and sometimes I say, I am teaching this lesson ask me later or on break on your time not my time! I know it sounds mean but this group I have now is the top group and they have tons and tons of questions, they want a rule and to analyze everything and ask what if this, and what about this instance and so on and so on. Sometimes the show just must go ON! as in, now, let me teach!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

french quarter....


this is a pic of the cheesy bacon chips they serve at the "french quarter" restaraunt where I went with some bud the other night... ahh yeah. fun
Mrs. W if you're reading I met your husband today at our PMR metting. What a nice guy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

thanks for the birthday wishes..

happy birthday to me... ha. had a great day today.
just finished my birthday, got up and put on my favorite t shirt, an OK GO concert tshirt and white striped black pants with black converse hightops. went to school, taught my class, had a meeting after school with the teachers, came home and went to the gym and then afterwards went to the "french quarter" restaurant on base and had some pizza and watched tv some there while hanging with some buds here, 3 tech seargents and a major. over all a good birthday to remember while in Afghanistan.
PAULA! thanks for the letter, i got it yesterday and the pics are all on my wall, I take a picture and post it here soon. also thanks mom and dad for the emails and ecard. also Dana I got you email this morning before work that was very sweet.
ok. now on with summer and another great year seeking God's will and next direction for my life.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

camp Phoenix!!

I was SO bored Friday day off, and after walking around base taking pictures and then running into miguel and major Ambrico I went to lunch with them at the mess hall. then they were talking about going to campe phoenix after lunch, on Fridays they have a bazzaar there and steak and shrimp for dinner at the mess hall. I got invited along and finally saw camp phoenix, which is about 1/4 mile down the road from the airport here.
bought a few things at the bazzaar like rugs and various stuff, and then ate at 5 pm at the mess hall which was AWESOME. it was awesome because they have a US company supplies the food and runs it there so there was just a lot of stuff different then the mess hall here at KAIA.
we got back by 6 and then I went to dinner again with some different guys here just to hang with them.
here is mark driving the humvee
self pic of me in the back seat

getting out of the humvee at camp phoenix

Friday, July 18, 2008

have ya been wonderin' just what that thar base looks like....?


first is the view from the end of the steps coming down out of my barracks.
the van our team rented and the white van we've used since December for going to work.
the bunkers on base.

looking back at my barracks, random base shot, Humvee!
iceland vehicles, the market on base, and the rug store I go visit
this pic I ran into miguel and took some shots and I like the way I show up in the mirrored door

here we are eating lunch, you may notice all the flags on the walls all over the walls. I've learned a lot about other countries' uniform and national flags. ha
just click on comment to leave me a note!
click on the photo for a larger view...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

so good to be going through July....

flying by, really....
it helps keeping busy going to school and back, loving what you're doing at work that's not really even considered like working.... and then getting to the gym on time to run before workouts, and then getting to dinner eventually and back to the room to just chill and then sleep, another day.... ahh
well today was my usual thursday off, i go into work anyway for some plan time. next week we start new books and new classes with new students. I'm back with Alpha group the furthest class in the books, so I'm teaching advanced stuff. ha ha. but they are great great bunch of afghan pilots and I can't wait to get them back in class and producing English with all the new words. also this is a very smart class so I get tons of grammar questions and what ifs. and I am so strict about them waiting their turn or not interupting a lesson with a bunch of endless questions. ha I know these guys enough that they will be getting a speech about what I expect, also I will get in their face if they speak Dari. in their face in a friendly way, smiling and saying SAY THAT IN ENGLISH!!

I'm listening to this new cd I bought off of Amazon and I LOVE IT. I can't get enough of it, Fleet foxes, and I keep playing the cd over and over on my ipod. have you ever done that with a new album and thought, aren't I going to get sick of this eventually... but then you don't, I'm loving it like that tonight. it's so good.
I am also playing Mah Jong on my computer games, and I am up to 49% wins! yeah.
Also I'm watching youtube clips, for example the last one was David Letterman getting his beard shaved. and I'm researching plane tickets, I'm going to buy a ticket tomorrow online from London to Senegal round trip from Oct 6th to Oct 16th. Isn't that exciting? NOTHING planned for tomorrow, i was trying to find a shuttle to Eggers for market friday, but having no luck and no convoys going either. ... ah well another Friday...

the house back home...



in case anyone's been missing my usual summer photographs of the yard, here are some pics of last fast before, and after this summer .....hostas and then some bulbs in the front


Monday, July 14, 2008

nothing happened on the way to the mess hall last night











some pics of me and the base. last night i was WORN out after my day. we have to drive this perimeter road now to get to the ANA side of base and back so I have been walking the flightline and cutting through the airport instead so I'll have more time at lunch and then after school to avoid the ride back with everyone in the car etc. anyway, here I am outside my barracks on the way to walking to dinner, and then the mess hall, and me at a table with some buds I usually sit with at dinner. you may notice different uniforms of different countries in the background I dunno.
oh yeah and the video below is a sweet love song, I found from another blog. I had a dream the other day a few weeks ago and I was at a dance and dancing with an ex and having a great old time, and then a storm or tornado broke out and we both began helping people find a place to go and what to do, and it was a neat feeling in the dream of working together and having that feeling of working as a complete team and having someone there who supported each other, anyway i guess I was imagining what marriage must be like, the security of the spouse being a part of you. I also had some thoughts about how that sercurity must make it more difficult for some to seek security in the lord first. But on the other hand maybe it helps to keep each other encouraged to do so first. was a nice dream anyhow, It's funny the feeling a dream may bring up, like the joy of spending time in a dream h wita loved one who's passed on, or sometimes I'm hanging out with an old friend like it's old times, and it's someone I don't even see or remember anymore while awake. ha
anyway less than 2 months and 12 days left here...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

a non eventful day because of this event this morning...

we were all ready to go to work and suddenly heard word that the road was closed around the perimeter of the base. they closed down the flightline road saturday, so now we spend a lot of extra time driving around the base completely (inside the moat and fence etc) so that is a real hardship because of shorter lunch and less time in class with students. BUT the colonel is working on a solution.... anyway, I can always walk back home through the airport and over to the base across apron 5 and cut time in half.
oh I had a very blessed afternoon saturday after school, i had a great awesome professional and personal conversation with this new teacher here and then he came and hung out in my room and so did this other teacher. that was just a really nice moment that God gave me cause they are the only 2 teachers I consider normal and into their jobs and that I'd can have conversations with. so it was just nice and all to be in my room hanging before everyone was ready to leave. we usually head out by 3:30 if we can get a certain instructor out the door and in the van...!!!
anyway, so we missed a whole day because of a security issue at one of the gates involving a jingle truck and intel that it might be taliban etc.... so no one was allowed to go to the otherside or leave base and no one could come into base etc etc.... extra day of cleaning and fiddling around base and my room. for example i went to the rug store here and hung out a bit under the pavillion. so that was my day, lunch, room, gym, mess hall dinner, now sleep is next and I look forward to work and teaching tomorrow! ha

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

less than 3 months..... ha







starting my weekend this morning, after going in to plan at the school.
this morning. I will be printing up some words and phrases and sentences to hang up in the bathroom stalls and above the sinks in there to keep the students reading and thinking in English.

I will be doing a lot of cleaning and packing and moving around in my room today also because my roomie is in Vienna for a week, so i can turn up the music and get in a good clean mode.

these are pictures of "Panjshir" which is north of Kabul near the mountains in the Bazarak province. This is the town of my student where my squares rug is being made.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

base life

today was sort of interesting. I went in and taught school as usual but then after lunch I walked back across the runway to our base so i could go to the driving tutorial. this is cause I had to renew my liscnse for driving on the flightline.
that was it. although the word is that after Friday the flightline will be closed and we'll have to go around the base perimeter road to get to the ANA side and not across the airport. apparently there is too much traffic and it has become a hassle for the air traffic controllers to deal with. UGH but now it will take an extra 15 or 20 minutes to get to work, and back and forth to lunch! so no one is happy about it.
my roomie is gone this week to Vienna, and I' not sure about returning to India because i need a travel visa and the embassy was bombed a few days ago.
weekend is coming!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy july everyone




no internet in the barracks right now so I'm dressed early and over at the "air force one" pavillion on the base where there is wireless on the patio.
hope all had a great July 4th weekend. we had a cookout of sorts here between the US barracks.
teaching new book 17 this week with Bravo group. I went to rug store after lunch on Friday with some friends so I'm including some pics of us there and me in a Afghan hat, but this is the Mountain man style from different provence than here in kabul. In the past most men wore the turban kind thats wrapped around the top of your head.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

been a great week




we quiz tomorrow, and I have the time slot after lunch! UGHH.... that's not good cause the students are always sleepy after lunch, they are more aware in the morning. so tomorrow I'm bringing cokes to drink after lunch to keep them mentally alert.
I have decided to stay out of the USA until November 9th. I will either teach here an extra month or travel a bit while waiting to come home. more on that later.
I'm showing some pictures of a rug that I am having made, it's from a picture of a tile floor I always liked in Texas. now its becoming a rug hand made out somewhere in Afghanistan. my student who designs rugs was at his village last weekend and took some pictures. I'll post some pictures of his village later. I have some blog posts that I have yet to write. one called "frustration" about what everyone goes through here working in afghanistan and the culture clashes. And the other is "apathy" about the presidential election.
I'm having tons of fun getting to know my friends dowstairs and we are always eating meals together or at the gym, so that's been nice. I am also looking forward to a week off in August and then I'll be packing up a lot of stuff and sending home soon...... tick tock tick tock... less than 3 months and counting........

been a great week

we quiz tomorrow, and I have the time slot after lunch! UGHH.... that's not good cause the students are always sleepy after lunch, they are more aware in the morning. so tomorrow I'm bringing cokes to drink after lunch to keep them mentally alert.
I have decided to stay out of the USA until November 9th. I will either teach here an extra month or travel a bit while waiting to come home. more on that later.
I'm showing some pictures of a rug that I am having made, it's from a picture of a tile floor I always liked in Texas. now its becoming a rug hand made out somewhere in Afghanistan. my student who designs rugs was at his village last weekend and took some pictures. I'll post some pictures of his village later. I have some blog posts that I have yet to write. one called "frustration" about what everyone goes through here working in afghanistan and the culture clashes. And the other is "apathy" about the presidential election.
I'm having tons of fun getting to know my friends dowstairs and we are always eating meals together or at the gym, so that's been nice. I am also looking forward to a week off in August and then I'll be packing up a lot of stuff and sending home soon...... tick tock tick tock... less than 3 months and counting........